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LA Kings Have A Power Forward In The Making In Michael Mersch

AUDIO AND VIDEO: Story includes a video interview with Michael Mersch and an audio interview with Los Angeles Kings assistant general manager Rob Blake.


EL SEGUNDO, CA — For many, many years, the Los Angeles Kings were grossly deficient in the areas of drafting and developing young players. Of course, they were so bad at drafting players that their dreadful player development usually didn’t matter.

But all that has changed since President/General Manager Dean Lombardi joined the club in April 2006. He quickly made drafting and development one of the top priorities of the franchise. That focus has paid off in spades, and now, the Kings are now one of the top teams in the National Hockey League when it comes to drafting and developing their young prospects.

Evidence of that can be seen on the 2013-14 roster, which includes the likes of Drew Doughty, Trevor Lewis, Alec Martinez, Tanner Pearson, Tyler Toffoli and Slava Voynov, among others, all of whom are homegrown players—some are late-round draft picks— who are now filling significant roles, and it doesn’t stop there.

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2013-14 Was A Solid Development Year For LA Kings Goaltender Prospect Patrik Bartosak

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Around this time last year, Los Angeles Kings goaltender prospect Patrik Bartosak wowed spectators with a stellar performance during the second game of the 2013 rookie tournament against the Anaheim Ducks, making several difficult saves, bailing out his teammates time and time again.

Bartosak led the rookie Kings to a 3-2 shootout win over the rookie Ducks, allowing one goal on 26 shots in two periods of work. But even though Mathias Niederberger played in the third period (a planned move), Bartosak faced the most difficult of the Ducks’ scoring chances, most of which came during a very poor first period by the Kings rookies, who were badly out-skated, outworked and out-chanced.

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LA Kings Believe The Time Is Now For Forward Prospect Andy Andreoff

LA KINGS PROSPECT WATCH: Throughout the summer, Frozen Royalty has taken a look at several of the Los Angeles Kings’ young prospects. In the final installment of this series, the focus is on 2011 third round selection left wing/center Andy Andreoff. Audio interviews with Andreoff and Kings assistant general manager Rob Blake are also included.


LOS ANGELES — For 23-year old left wing/center prospect Andy Andreoff, if the Los Angeles Kings have their way, his time is now, or at least, in a few weeks.

“His contract situation has a lot to do with that, in that he would [have to clear] waivers—there would be 29 teams lined up to get ahold of him,” said Kings assistant general manager Rob Blake. “It’s a big summer for him. He was sat down, early in the summer. We explained the scenario that this is the time to push to really get on this team.”

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LA Kings Are Banking On Brayden McNabb Being A Ready For Prime Time Player In 2014-15

LA KINGS PROSPECT WATCH: Throughout the summer, Frozen Royalty will be taking a look at several of the Los Angeles Kings’ young prospects. In this installment, the focus is on defenseman Brayden McNabb, who was acquired last March at the trade deadline. Audio interviews with McNabb and Kings assistant general manager Rob Blake are also included.


LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings had barely begun their summer-long celebration after winning the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship when it was learned that veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell would not be re-signed because the Kings would not be able to fit him in under the salary cap.

While Mitchell was moving across the country to Florida, the Kings signed veteran defenseman Matt Greene to a four-year contract extension on June 24, 2014. They also signed Jeff Schultz to a two-year deal on June 30—their top six defenseman positions would appear to be set.

But wait…there’s more.

Down on the farm, a little over 3,000 miles away, defenseman prospect Brayden McNabb was playing for the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League after the Kings acquired him on March 5, 2014, along with a second round pick, in the 2014 and 2015 National Hockey League Drafts, from the Buffalo Sabres, in exchange for left wing/defenseman Nicolas Deslauriers and right wing prospect Hudson Fasching.

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